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Clifton Hall School

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Rod Grant


+44 131 333 1359

Mixed-sex education

Independent day school


Newbridge EH28 8LQ, UK


Clifton Hall School

Newbridge Midlothian EH28 8LQ Scotland

Fettes College, George Heriot's School, George Watson's College, Cargilfield School, Stewart's Melville College

Pharrell williams happy by clifton hall school edinburgh

Clifton Hall School is an independent day school located near Newbridge in Midlothian, Scotland. It is divided into the Nursery, Junior and Senior Schools and educates pupils from nursery to Senior 6. The school operates on a non-selective first-come-first-served basis for all entrants. Headmaster Rod Grant states on the school's website that 'children choose Clifton Hall, not the other way around'.


Welcome to christmas from clifton hall school


The school was founded in 1930 by Richard Killick and Robert Ainslie, formerly teachers at Merchiston Castle School. Clifton Hall was originally opened as a traditional boarding prep school, with boys aged from five to thirteen.

When Ainslie left to found Blairmore School in 1937, the roll of children had grown from four to forty-three, though the Great Depression had somewhat hindered growth. Further developments were interrupted by the Second World War, when the R.A.F. requisitioned the building, forcing the school to move to Kinloch House in Amulree, Perthshire.

After the War, the school grew rapidly to its then capacity of one hundred pupils. New rooms and facilities were added and the number of teachers increased. In 1964 the school ceased to be proprietorial and became a company limited by guarantee governed by a Board of Governors. In these years the school also moved away from its boys-only policy, becoming a co-educational school.

In 1994 full boarding was started at the school. Weekly boarding continued until 1996, when all boarding whatsoever was stopped. In 2008, the school merged with another small independent school known as St. Serf's located in the Roseburn area of Edinburgh. This school was sold, with the proceeds therefrom used to begin secondary education at the school, which previously had only provided primary education. Over the next few years, the school tripled in size, and today it has a total of 370 pupils and prides itself on not exceeding 400.


The school occupies a 19th-century, category A-listed building. This was constructed in 1850 to designs by David Bryce for the Maitland family, who had inherited the property in 1786. An older house, possibly from the late 16th century, forms the basis of the structure, although it was completely rebuilt in the Scottish baronial style. The estate of Clifton itself dates back to the 13th century and was originally owned by the Graham family.

Notable former pupils

  • Sir David Edward, lawyer and former judge of the Court of Justice of the European Communities.
  • Jim Clark, F1 driver.
  • Ewan Stewart, actor.
  • Rory Bremner, playwright and comedian.
  • Tweedies, corsaholics.
  • James Aikman Cochrane, historical author.
  • List of Headmasters

  • Robert Ainslie (1930-1937)
  • Richard Killick (1930–1958)
  • Walter Mitchell (1958–1962)
  • George Mathewson (1962–1984)
  • David Berkley (1984-1987)
  • Mark Adams (1987–2005)
  • Rod Grant (2005–Present)
  • References

    Clifton Hall School Wikipedia

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